National Drowning Report 2023

Australians love the water, with water activities, boats, pools, rivers, and beaches part of our summer lifestyles. Tragically, that comes with a risk of drowning. 

The 2023 Drowning Report said that 281 people lost their lives to drowning, higher than the 10 year average. 

A large number of drownings can be prevented by learning swimming or lifesaving, and acting safe around the water.

Out of COVID, one outcome of those tough decisions by the Government in the 2021 lockdown was the temporary closure of community and indoor pools. 

As a result, many facilities who delivered the Learn to Swim Course for kids aged 18 months up to pre-school age in our local area were planned to be closed until December 2021. 

I grew concerned that a generation of young kids were missing out on lifesaving education for swimming, or worse, our families paying a higher permanent price by risking losing a loved one.

Facing 250,000 swimming lessons missed each week during the lockdown, I knew it was not an option for our community to the keep the doors closed on our kids.

I ran a petition and called on the state government to prevent a national tragedy that summer by getting kids back in the pool as fast as possible. 

Thankfully, the government took immediate action and recognised this as something that had unintentionally fallen through the gap.

As a community we need to remember to remain vigilant around the water, and following some simple water safety advice can, and does, save lives. Please remember to:

  • Always supervise children in and out of the water
  • Learn swimming and lifesaving skills
  • Wear a lifejacket when boating
  • Swim at a patrolled beach between the flags
  • Avoid being under the influences of substances
  • Check conditions and the weather

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